Competing in the tough arena of 7-inch tablets, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 (Est. $380) brings a new combination of elements to the game: the S pen which allows the user to write, draw and doodle, and then convert it all to ASCII; custom preloaded software; and the tablet's use as a TV remote. However, the Galaxy Note 8.0 is more expensive than its competitors, and reviewers say that this may create a niche rather than a mainstream market for this tablet.
Battery life is a problem. Reviewers found the Galaxy Note 8.0 to be smooth and responsive when switching tasks or when watching a movie. The photos from the front camera are sharp under most lighting conditions, but there are not as many unique camera features as found on some of the Note 8.0's competitors. The short battery life was a common complaint -- the battery doesn't last as long as that of the Apple iPad mini (Est. $300 and up) but is on a par with the Google Nexus 7 (Est. $230 and up) .
Scribbling on the go. One of the selling points, and unique features, of the entire Samsung Galaxy Note line, is the S pen, and the accompanying "powerful note-taking and drawing apps." One review awards the Galaxy Note 8.0 its Editors' Choice award as the best tablet for students as it's the ideal size to hold and take notes. You can combine drawings, hand-written notes, text and multimedia in one document, using provided templates, which include lined paper, meeting notes and birthday cards. Leave your drawings and text as graphics or turn them into ASCII. Another notable feature of the Note 8.0 is in its use as a TV remote, with a detailed TV guide. The Note 8.0 also provides true multifunctional capability, in which you can work on several different apps at once.
Thin, light and holdable. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 comes in Samsung's signature plastic case, this time in a white finish, which is thin and light. While it won't quite fit into your pocket, you can hold the Galaxy Note 8.0 in one hand while using the stylus with your other hand to take notes. It almost goes without saying that the Note 8.0 is considerably lighter than its sibling tablet, the Galaxy Note 10.1 (Est. $550 and up) . Some reviewers found that it took some time to master using the S pen, but said that it was worth the initial frustration, as they became proficient and efficient in its use after a while.
"Four hundred dollars is a lot for a small tablet", write the editors of CNET, no matter how impressive its features are. Those who prefer pen input to typing may willingly pay this price, but others can get similar performance from Google's Nexus 7 or the iPad mini.
Review: Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Review: Impressive tablet tripped up by $400 price tag, Eric Franklin, April 9, 2013
2. Computer Shopper
Giving the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 an Editors' Choice award, the editors at ComputerShopper.com praise it for its "truly workable" stylus-pen and impressive multi-tasking innovations, including the ability to work in several apps at once.
Review: Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review and Ratings, William Harrel, April 30, 2013
Sascha Segan recommends the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 for those who think best with a pen in their hands or for those who doodle. However, he says it's too expensive to become a mainstream tablet, despite fast speed, great performance, wide range of custom software and its secondary use as a TV remote.
Review: Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 (Wi-Fi), Sascha Segan, April 11, 2013
4. Laptop Magazine
Calling the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 "one versatile (but pricey) Android tablet," Piltch recommends it for college students due to its superior multi-tasking capabilities. He says it's the ideal size for mobile note-taking and drawing, though its battery life is three hours shorter than that of the iPad mini.
Review: Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review, Avram Piltch, April 9, 2013
Ian Morris states that the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 looks more like a phone than a tablet and, in fact, it does come in 3G and 4G versions for the overseas market. He thinks that the Note 8.0 screen needs more resolution, though videos played on it look great.
Review: Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Review, Ian Morris, April 24, 2013
Joseph Volpe points out that overseas the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is a phone, while in the United States it's stripped down to just a tablet. He says that, on paper, the Note 8.0 reads like Samsung's greatest hits, with a vibrant display, quad processor and 2 GB of RAM, and it really is an exceptional second screen to own.
Review: Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review, Joseph Volpe, April 9, 2013
This U.K. review suggests that, with the Galaxy Note 8.0, Samsung is "throwing out as many devices as it can in an effort to catch as many consumers as it can." That said, the reviewer prefers the Note 8.0's display over that of the iPad mini, and he also appreciates the enhanced S pen. He concludes that there are better tablets out there for the money.
Review: Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review, Phil Lavelle, April 17, 2013